To students, there is always one teacher; one teacher that changed the whole game for them. One teacher who opened their eyes, and changed their opinions, and challenged you as a student. On the first day of class, he did nothing but exceed the expectation of greatness that past students had set up for him. He was a warm, gentle spoken, and kind human being. I could see that just from him introducing himself and his class. Throughout that school year and up until he left, he became a friend to me in a way. So this letter is to him, and to thank him for being one of the greatest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

1. You taught us love is key to living a successful and happy life.

Because of you and what you called your daily “Markisms”, I learned that love is a special thing. By you sharing your stories of love, it allowed me to open my eyes as to what I want for myself in the future. You told us that if we had to force things in a relationship it wasn’t worth it, and that we shouldn’t hold on to things just because we’re comfortable. Because life isn’t about being comfortable, dating, because you’re comfortable, doesn’t hurt anybody but yourself. Dating because you love and can’t see yourself without that person… that’s the good stuff.

2. You allowed your students to know you personally.

Because we lived in such a small town, I know that you knew of your students and their family, and of course, they all knew of you and yours. You allowed us to know many little details of your life and in return, it allowed us to feel a stronger connection. It allowed us to feel as though we could talk to you about anything if we ever needed to.

3. You were there for us in major times of our high school life.

You allowed each of your students to know that there was a trust there that couldn’t be broken. Because as teenagers we’re having to face many things in high school, and getting close to deciding colleges and what to do in our lives… You allowed us to have a safe zone to come to if we ever needed it. For me, you were there for me anytime it was needed, and there were a couple of circumstances I took advantage. You might not remember it, or remember the things you had said… but I do. And I will always hold those words of advice close to my heart.

4. You taught your students valuable life lessons

In your classroom, teaching your students history was obviously the requirement. But on top of that, you gave us real advice. Advice on how to concur life, on how to live a happy life, and many, many other lessons. Your advice far exceeded anybody else’s, because it was honest, it was real, and it was sincere. You made each and every one of your students feel as though you were talking to them individually because you were. You gave us advice about many things in life simply because you wanted nothing but the best for your students.

5. You taught your students that laughter is the best medicine.

You were always the jokester type. You liked to tell jokes and make your students laugh. Because of this, you taught me a valuable lesson. That lesson is that life can be rough, it can be harsh, and it can be hard to understand. But with all of the things, life throws your way… you have to learn not to sweat the small stuff.

See, to me, these reasons are just scratching the surface as to why you had such a huge impact on my life. I think of you often, and I hope every day that you are doing well. I think of many jokes, many life lessons, and many different discussions that occurred in that classroom. I think of the many reasons as to why you’re the greatest teacher/man and it’s because of all of these things plus so much more. I wish I could put it all into better words, but just thank you. Thank you for everything.